December 27, 2008

J.O. Caught Fire, the Sucka-mento Kings should call him Sire

The Sacramento Kings are 7-23 for a reason. They've just fired their coach, they're young and rebuilding. The young Kings faced off against the struggling Raps who were fresh off of a win against the Clippers. Last night, Jermaine O'neal just dominated down low against the Sacramento bigs: Spencer Hawes, Brad Miller and Mikki Moore. He looked like the '03-'04 Indiana Pacers all-star as the Raps had good ball movement to get the ball down low to the Raps centre. Chris Bosh had early foul trouble which allowed O'neal to just take over.

The Raps played a good first quarter going up 30-26 and shooting 60% from the field. But first quarters have never been a problem with the Raps as they tend to get early leads but blow them down the stretch. And the second quarter displayed this, the Kings outscored the Raps 30-21 where the Raps just turned the ball over too many times. J.O. looked like he had hurt his hand but was able to play through it.

After the half, the Raps came back as they played a better third quarter and J.O. continued to rip apart the Sacramento bigs and the Raps went into the 4th with a three point lead. The Raps built up a nine point lead in the fourth while resting Bosh, J.O. and Calderon on the bench and then the Kings went on a 7-0 run withi 7 minutes left to pull within 2. Joey Graham had another Graham slam (if I find a clip, I'll link to it) to end the run. Bosh got his 5th foul with 6 minutes left an then the Raps just gave the ball to J.O. in the closing minutes as it was only a two possession game with one minute left. While it was 103-99 with a minute left, J.O. had a key steal to regain possession. Final score, Raps win 107-101.

Key Notes:
First win for Toronto in Sacramento since 1997
The Raptors outrebounded the Kings 39-34
Raps shot 55% for the game
Brad Miller led the Kings with 20 points & 8 rebounds.

Photo credit: (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)


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